Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Communicating with the Media

Writing letters to the editor is an effective way to convey your message to hundreds, if not thousands, of people. During a legislative session, a letter from an educator can help shape public opinion and influence legislators' votes on an important issue. During campaign season, your letter can help emphasize how important it is for educators to participate in all elections.

Follow these tips to give your letter a strong chance of being printed:

  • Check the newspaper's opinion page or website for submission guidelines. Most newspapers prefer electronic submissions.
  • Type your letter using a readable font. If you are using snail mail, write legibly.
  • Include your name, address, and phone numbers. Newspapers generally verify authorship and do not print anonymous letters.
  • Address your letter to the "Letters Editor" or "Dear Editor."
  • Write about topics that are timely and relevant.
  • Be brief. Try to limit your letter to no more than 125 words.
  • Be specific. State your purpose in the opening paragraph, and stick to it. If your letter responds to a specific article, identify it.
  • Include the facts. Don't make statements you can't back up with facts or figures, but at the same time, don't overdo it. You do not want your message getting lost in a sea of figures.
  • Avoid personal attacks and insults. Always be professional.